Gov’t provides aid packages set for decommissioned MILF members

MILF fighters in Maguindanao. Mindanews File Photo
MILF fighters in Maguindanao. Mindanews File Photo

The government will start providing aid packages for some 1,200 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members who will be decommissioned this weekend in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is expected to lead the decommissioning of the former MILF members on Sept. 7 at the old Capitol grounds in Sultan Kudarat town.

Cezario Joel Espejo, director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 12, said that the government, through the DSWD, will provide the ex-MILF combatants with Bangsamoro Transitory Family Support Packages that include food subsidy, family kit, hygiene kit, kitchen kit, sleeping kit, and shelter kit.

“Each former combatant will also receive livelihood grants worth PHP20,000 as additional aid package from the DSWD,” Espejo said in a statement Tuesday.

“They can use the money as seed capital for business or re-establishment of their damaged livelihood,” he added.

Part of the funds for the decommissioning package was coursed through DSWD-12 as the new MILF-led Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is still in its transitory stage following its establishment under the Bangsamoro Organic Law on January this year.

The decommissioning aspect, which forms part of the GPH-MILF normalization program, specifically aims to transform the former rebels into productive members of the society.

DSWD is one of the national government agencies involved in the GPH-MILF peace process under Executive Order No. 79, which the President issued recently.

EO 79 supports the GPH-MILF peace deal “Annex on Normalization” to consolidate the whole-of-nation peace-building initiatives under the Normalization Track. (PNA)